Why does the CBC seek to demonize these air travel companies? What's in it for them? If you haven't learned about the stark realities of flying in our modern world, what the heck are you doing on an airplane? This fake outrage is nonsense, eventually someone who works for these airlines is going to be hurt by someone who feels their "rights" have been violated. Where does it end CBC? Look, if you don't like the safety rules they enact while on an airplane, DON'T FLY! It's not anyone's fault but your own! Have some personal accountability.
This was a weather delay due to a series of brutal thunderstorms in both Montreal and Toronto. When electrical activity is in the air, a very sensitive detection system at airports called Thorguard kicks in and no personnel are allowed on the tarmac or to operate metal equipment. That means grounded aircraft (rubber tires), are not allowed to touch anything metal and risk electrocuting personnel. Refueling aircraft in an electrical storm is not a good idea. Electrical storms aren't stagnant. They move. Everyone knows this, so diverted planes stay loaded waiting for a break in the weather so they can get back in the air and get people where they need to be. A loaded plane can be ready to go in 10 minutes. Once a wide body airplane is unloaded, if it can even be unloaded due to electrical activity in the atmosphere, it'd take at least an hour, maybe more, to get going again. That's the gamble airlines take in these situations. More often than not, it pays off. Sometimes it doesn't. No one has a crystal ball. No one was hurt. There was a delay. Get over it.
The comments posted of "righteous indignation" cause me to shake my head. There are many agencies involved here, from airlines, airport authorities, ground crews, air traffic controllers, meteorologists, Canada Border Services, police, etc, all of which have to follow established protocols and communications, and who can't just make hasty actions. Further, this wasn't the only plane to divert, it's just the only one to have two indignant passengers who phoned 911 when their safety wasn't in jeopardy (they were in discomfort yes, but not in peril) and who talked to the media afterwards with a "poor me" story. It's interesting to note that no other passengers on that plane, or on any other of the many planes that were diverted, called 911. I guess these two thought that somehow they were more special than anyone else trying to deal with the situation, and that their discomfort, as unfortunate as it was and who no one wished upon them, including the airlines, overrode anyone else's discomfort. Weather is unpredictable - no one knew that it would take the storm as long as it did to clear out, and I see a lot of logic in the actions that were taken in light of that uncertainty. All the agencies involved made the calls as they were unfolding at the time. If the airline made the decision to disembark and all of a sudden the storm cleared out, then there's another delay in rounding everyone up again, and people would be saying "why didn't they just wait and see how it went?" You can't win in those situations.