Lost iPhone? Get Free Beer, Anyway

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It hasn't exactly been Gray Powell's week. Losing an iPhone prototype in a bar, only to see it appear on Gizmodo, is enough to give you a pretty bad

case of the Mondays. Someone out there thinks he could use a break, though -- specifically, the offer comes from Lufthansa Airlines.

In an open letter posted to Gawker tech blog Vallywag on Friday, Lufthansa's Nicola C. Lange offers Powell a free flight to Munich, where he is invited to check out Lufthansa's new Bavarian Beer Garden Business Lounge.

"We all know how frustrating it can be to lose personal belongings," the letter states, "Especially when it is such a unique item." (Is that the understatement of the year, or what?) The letter goes on to note, "with great interest," Powell's "passion for German beer and culture."

Powell reportedly lost the iPhone prototype in

, a German beer garden located in Redwood City, California, right after updating his Facebook status to say: "I underestimated how good German beer is."

"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."

Not a bad deal, Gray -- sure, it probably doesn't make up for the fact that you lost Apple's, um, super-secret iPhone, but it's not a bad deal at all.

Some of the comments over at Valleywag are skeptical, noting that "it does not include a free trip back HOME!" and suggesting it might be a Lufthansa-Steve-Jobs conspiracy in which Powell will conveniently "disappear" in Germany. One of the commenters is definitely on the money, though: "Lufthansa . . . I salute you, you magnificent bastards! Well played. Some employee deserves a big raise. You can't buy this kind of publicity."

As Apple now k

nows, you certainly can't buy this kind of publicity.

And, of course, just in case any of us still think that perhaps the Gawker blog network went too far for the scoop by throwing Gray Powell under the bus -- Valleywag throws in a note about how, "now that his name has been made public, the company won't be able to fire the emerging accidental celebrity without a significant PR backlash."

Keep telling yourself that, Gawker.

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