On Thursday Virgin America released a statement calling the incident a "misunderstanding" and said they "apologized" to Geno.
"We believe it was the result of a misunderstanding that regrettably escalated unnecessarily," Virgin America said in a statement. "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."
The Associated Press reports that Smith was asked to take off his headphones, declined to do so and the argument escalated. Smith has accepted the apology, however.
"I really appreciate that Virgin America took this seriously, looked into this matter and followed up with me," Smith said in his statement. "I look forward to flying their airline again soon."
I've actually taken an LAX --> FLL flight on Virgin. And no one asked me to take off my headphones, although it was a red eye. Add in that it's obvious headphones are no longer an issue when taking off or landing (Delta lets you play with whatever now) and the fact that making a celebrity mad at your airline is bad for business and it's pretty obvious that Virgin should be backtracking quickly here.
Also, Virgin has television on their flights. So maybe he was just watching TV?