Smith, 26, of Philadelphia, was charged with conveying false information that interfered with aviation and using an instrument of commerce — the phone — to do so.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and possible restitution.
Philadelphia police on Thursday had stressed Shell was blameless for the airplane scare. He continued his travel later in the day to Texas, where he planned to celebrate his birthday with friends and family. But authorities arrested him when he arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Collin County authorities said Shell had outstanding warrants for two drug-possession charges — less than 2 ounces of marijuana and less than 28 grams of a controlled substance.
Associated Press videographer John Mone in Dallas contributed to this report.