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Lufthansa offers free flight to Apple worker who lost iPhone prototype in a German beer garden

April 23, 2010 |  6:31 pm

German-beer It's too bad Southwest Airlines doesn't fly to Germany because this would've made the perfect "Wanna Get Away" commercial.

Lufthansa, the German airline, is offering a free flight to Munich to Gray Powell, the Apple employee who made headlines for accidentally leaving his prototype iPhone in a Redwood City, Calif., bar.

Nicola Lange, a Lufthansa representative, uploaded a letter to the TwitPic image service and sent a tweet of the proposition on the @Lufthansa_USA account. The note was addressed to no one in particular because Powell has been incommunicado since the incident, locking a number of his social networking profiles.

The judgment was practically unanimous among social media participants last week: No one wanted to be in Powell's shoes. Apple is an exceptionally protective and secretive company, where pre-announcement products are guarded from the public eye.

The Gizmodo blog broke Apple's seal, thanks to an anonymous person who found the phone. Parent company Gawker Media paid $5,000 but may have made no money from the deal, founder Nick Denton told DailyFinance. After initially dragging Powell's name through the dirt, Gizmodo relented and edited its post outing the Apple worker to be less harsh.

Lufthansa, commending Powell on his "passion for German beer and culture," says it will give Powell a business-class trip to Munich and encourages him to check out the local watering holes.

Powell, who apparently updated his Facebook status the night he lost his phone to say he "underestimated how good German beer is," can try to forget his troubles thanks to the airline's clever marketing stunt. That is, if Apple lets him come out to play.

-- Mark Milian
twitter.com/markmilian

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

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