Lufthansa to Gray Powell: Drinks are on us

Gray Powell was "devastated" by the reported loss of an iPhone prototype, his father says.
Gray Powell
Gray Powell, the Apple engineer who lost a next-generation iPhone prototype in a bar.

If Gray Powell, the Apple engineer who lost his iPhone prototype at a German beer hall in Silicon Valley, is thinking about drowning his sorrows somewhere, Lufthansa wants to help him indulge.

In a message put up on Twitter, Lufthansa's marketing director for the Americas, Nicola Lange, invited Powell to fly for free to Munich.

"At Lufthansa we also noted with great interest your passion for German beer and culture. We thought you could use a break soon--and therefore would like to offer you complimentary business class transportation to Munich, where you can literally pick up where you last left off."

"We got some hints so far from people who know him but we haven't heard from him as well," said Martin Riecken, a spokesman for the airline, who confirmed the authenticity of the tweet. Although no mention of accommodations was extended, Riecken said Lufthansa would "make sure he has a happy time."

Lufthansa is about to relaunch broadband connectivity on its transatlantic flights. The service was discontinued in 2006, but will resume this June, Riecken said. "So all technology subjects are of great interest to us right now," he added, tongue firmly in cheek.

Good to know in case Powell takes up the offer and wants to connect with the home office--via his iPhone, naturally.

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.