Lufthansa is facing quite a bit of competition on the Stockholm-Berlin route. As the German national airline they clearly favor the Berlin side of the equation, and their marketing gurus are going to tell those Swedes how much better it is to be a Berliner!

Or something.

Lufthansa ran a contest with a grand prize of:

[A] free one-way ticket to the German capital and a prepaid apartment for a year on the border of the city’s trendy Kreuzberg and Neukolln neighborhoods. Did I mention that the furnished, sparkling white, 750-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment comes with a balcony, a fully equipped kitchen, and a custom-painted bike with your (new) name on it? Or that the jackpot also includes German lessons and two free flights to Frankfurt and Munich?

Everyone else entering receives Frequent Traveler status and 60,000 miles.

And all you had to do to enter was change your name to Klaus-Heidi. 42 people entered.

What would a travel provider have to offer you to change your name? What if the name were absurd?

Judge Peter Schmuck reportedly didn’t have sympathy for name change requests. He might have been more flexible if the prize were miles and points! Apparently, Swedes face no such challenges — there it is possible and easy to change your name for any reason or no reason.

(HT: Chris B.)

  1. Klaus-Heidi Schmuk said,

    I’d consider it.

  2. toomanybooks said,

    “Schmuck” of course is not German for, you know, “schmuck.”

    It means “jewelry.”

  3. GUWonder said,

    Name change rules in Sweden are much more strict than in the US or any major OECD common law country. First name filings in the country are controlled as are last names. First names are more easily changed than last names in Sweden but even first names are pretty vigorously controlled by the national authorities.
    Klaus-Heidi is accepted in Sweden for first names but not for the Swedish defined “middle” name nor for a last name. Of course if a person changes their name outside of Sweden and is not a Swedish citizen, then the Swedish authorities accept it as is abroad.

    I know some who are considering litigation against the Swedish government on the basis of the name restriction rules being a violation of laws applicable in and/or to Sweden.

  4. Sinep Gib said,

    I’m just glad that we don’t read from right to left so I don’t have to change my name.

  5. Jen said,

    No, because it would screw up my passport, credit cards, etc. I would shave my head, though.

  6. Brad said,

    As correctly pointed out above by toomanybooks, in the German language, the word “Schmuck” actually has a different meaning than what many of us think it means here.

    On my first visit to Germany, I was fairly surprised (and a little amused) to see signs over shops that said things like “Gunther Schmidt, Schmuck”.

    Herr Schmidt seemed like a perfectly nice guy. His shop sold jewelry.

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