Prosecutors said Lizet Sariol, 45, called United Airlines two months ago to say there would be an emergency on a Las Vegas to Paris flight.
Federal officials said the threat was made to seek revenge on a former lover who was to board the flight.
Sariol was upset with Adnen Mansouri, who had just unfriended her on Facebook.
Posing as an anonymous tipster, Sariol told the airline that she'd received threatening texts from Mansouri and his traveling companion, Salim Oumahdi, according to a criminal complaint filed by the federal government.
Airline and federal transportation safety officials took the tip seriously and stopped Mansouri and Oumahdi at Los Angeles International Airport.
Sariol was charged with providing false and misleading information by fabricating a terrorist threat. She was being held on $20,000 bond.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.