The incident began on the ground at
"We believe it was the result of a misunderstanding that regrettably escalated unnecessarily. We've apologized to Mr. Smith for his experience, which could have been better — and we'd welcome him back onboard any time. As an airline that prides itself on our guest service, we take incidents such as this one very seriously."
Smith, according to the Associated Press, asked to speak to the flight attendant's supervisor and eventually headed back to the boarding gate, where he spoke to airport police.
The former West Virginia star went 8-8 in his rookie season. After the Jets opened 4-4, Smith helped the team win three of its last four games while setting a team rookie record with 3,046 yards passing. He completed 55.8% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 21 intercepted passes. He also rushed for 366 yards and six touchdowns.
Smith, 23, issued the following statement via the Jets: "I really appreciate that Virgin America took this seriously, looked into this matter and followed up with me. I look forward to flying their airline again soon."