Wow Air Pilots Sought to Have Journalists Investigated for Negative Coverage

I turned 18 just before the 1992 Presidential election. George H.W. Bush had gone from having a 91% approval rating during the first Gulf War to trailing the Governor of Arkansas. The country had been in recession, but was coming out of it. Republicans blamed the media for not telling the good news stories they thought would turn the tide of public opinion. And so this became a popular bumper sticker amongst Republican partisans:

Republicans blaming the media has polled well for decades. This is not a partisan point, Democrats have their own recurring narratives.

We’re apt to think, though, that our narratives domestically are somehow unique. It’s a great reminder that the same political tactics that work in the U.S. are often employed successfully (and unsuccessfully) abroad. Indeed, the U.S. regularly deploys its political technology intervening in foreign elections. It even intervened in Russian elections!

One of the more interesting side stories in the collapse of Wow Air is that its pilots union sought an investigation of Icelandic journalists for their ‘unbalanced’ coverage of the airline’s hardship. The release sought to uncover details of journalist sources behind detrimental information about the airline, and to investigate whether journalists writing critically had received any benefits from Wow Air competitors.

Calling the coverage “unbalanced”, pilots for WOW Air want the Icelandic Journalists Union to investigate if reporters covering the airline’s financial hardships have been given favours or special rewards from WOW Air competitors.

…In a letter sent to the journalists union, the Icelandic Pilots Union (IFF) wants an investigation launched into favours granted to reporters, such as free tickets, from competitors of WOW Air in light of “unbalanced coverage” on the airline’s financial troubles.

Wow Air, Copyright: zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo

Ironically Wow Air itself provided free flights to journalists to influence coverage, and of course stories about the imminent demise of the low cost carrier turned out to be accurate rather than fake news.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I tend to agree that the press and all it supporting entities such as “bloggers” that are simply blogging to blog without real knowledge or information to support their writings.

    look at the bright side there are pilots avaible to fill the needs of other airlines and cargo carriers and that is a real problem out there.

  2. Thanks to the journalists and to the bloggers for keeping us informed about the ongoing issues with this airline since they launched. I chose to never fly them because of their ridiculous lack of transparency regarding airfare and all those endless surcharges. Their carry-on policy was one of the most Draconian.

    If they didn’t like the coverage they got well too bad; they had ample opportunity to woo the press and the bloggers with their endless self-promotion tactics (including the “Now hiring WOW air’s travel guide – world’s best summer job”).

    Fact remains their product just wasn’t enticing enough so they went belly up like so many others before them.

  3. The pilot’s union is the group that seems unbalanced. The Icelandic people are too sensible to fall for that bunch of malarkey.

  4. Icelandair is a stupid airline supported by corrupt politicians. Wowair gave people reasonable prices to fly to so many places and Yes iceland being a country of degenerates and Incest cousins and nepotism the brainless icelandic journalists would write badly about Icelandairs competition. The same thing happens in music. Icelanders cannot succeed unless they bribe everyone to write well about them. In the end none of them are successful despite all their prepaid awards and bribes to writely badly about Wowair. Such evil journalism. Belongs in the GRAVE

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