A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight was arrested on a felony charge after threatening to kill everyone on the plane

  • A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight threatened to kill the flight's passengers and crew on Saturday.
  • The passenger had disabled a bathroom smoke detector and was caught smoking a cigarette by a flight attendant, the airline told Business Insider. 
  • The passenger was arrested on a felony charge and sent to jail on a $75,000 bail.


A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight from Portland to Sacramento threatened to kill everyone on the flight on Saturday after she was caught smoking a cigarette in the bathroom.

KOIN 6 reports that the passenger, Valerie Curbelo, disabled the smoke detector in one of the plane's bathrooms before smoking a cigarette. After a flight attendant discovered what Curbelo had done, she entered the bathroom and attempted to return Curbelo to her seat. Curbelo then became agitated and confronted the flight attendant.

"I have a destination for myself, and I need to go there," Curbelo says in a video taken by another passenger. "I swear, if you don't...land, I will f------ kill everybody on this f------ plane!"

Curbelo was restrained by passengers and crew for 30 minutes until the flight landed, at which point she was arrested on a felony charge and sent to jail on a $75,000 bail, according to the Washington Post.

"The safety of our crew and passengers is our top priority, and we take all safety violations seriously," Southwest Airlines said in a statement to Business Insider. 

When a reporter from CBS 13 asked Curbelo why she made the threat, she replied that she was confused by her behavior. 

“I don’t know,” Curbelo said. “It was not me. It was not me.”

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Airline rankings according to ACSI
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Airline rankings according to ACSI

1. JetBlue Airways Corp.

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2. Southwest Airlines

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3. Alaska Airlines

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4. American Airlines

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5. Delta Airlines

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6. Allegiant Air

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7. United Airlines

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8. Frontier Airlines

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9. Spirit Airlines Inc.

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SEE ALSO: The woman who was forcibly dragged by police from a Southwest Airlines flight is now facing multiple charges

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