David Mesher apologised publicly for the first time in an interview aired on Friday over his treatment of Delsie Gayle, saying he lost his temper “a bit”.
Footage showed him calling the 77-year-old woman an “ugly black b******” and telling her “don’t speak to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow”.
Mr Mesher, who has been spoken to by police where he lives in Birmingham, apologised for the first time in the interview aired a week after the incident.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the dispute began after he asked Ms Gayle to move from her seat but “she didn’t seem to want to get up”.
“I probably lost my temper a bit and ordered her to get up,” he said, adding that he “absolutely” regrets his behaviour.
“I’m not a racist person my any means and it’s just a fit of temper at the time, I think,” he continued.
“I apologise for all the distress you’ve had there and since.”
But Ms Gayle and her daughter Carol Gayle rejected the apology over the language used on the plane from Barcelona to London on October 19.
Asked if she accepts the apology, Delsie Gayle said: “I don’t think so. You must forget and forgive but it’s going to take a long time for me to get over what he has done to me.”
Her daughter added: “He says he wasn’t racist, he wouldn’t be saying words like that if he wasn’t racist.”