A woman was filmed during a shocking mid-air rant after the airline said she had been trying to smoke in the plane's bathroom.
Valerie Curbelo, 24, was arrested at Sacramento Airport on Saturday (9 November) and charged with three counts of threats to commit crime resulting in death or grievous bodily harm.
In a statement, Southwest Airlines said that the incident occurred during a flight from Portland to Sacramento.
"Our reports from flight attendants indicate a customer violated federal laws by both smoking on board an aircraft and by tampering with a smoke detector in an aircraft restroom."
The airline said that after the crew enforced the regulation, "the passenger outburst" occurred. "The pilots declared an emergency to receive priority handling from air traffic controllers, and our crew handled the situation on board until the plane landed and local authorities stepped in," the airline said in a statement, reported by KOIN 6.
In a video taken by another passenger, a woman who is allegedly Curbelo can be seen screaming at flight attendants and demanding that they land the plane. "I will f*****g kill everybody on this f*****g plane," she yells at one point.
Curbelo is currently being held on $75,000 (£56,000) bail, according to online jail records.
A reporter with Sacramento's local CBS affiliate went to the jail to try to piece together Curbelo's version of events but instead Curbelo said she did not know why she had acted like that, saying: "It was not me. It was not me." She also said that she had been smoking in the bathroom because of "anxiety".
The fellow passenger who took the footage of the incident but did not want to be named, told CBS that other passengers and crew had to physically restain the woman in the video while the plane reached its destination.