The word surprise has its origin in Medieval Latin: surperprehendere, which means to “seize.” Later it was incorporated into the old French – surprendre - and then used in late Middle English to mean “unexpected seizure of a place, or attach on troops.” Today we use it as a noun to describe an unexpected event, or as verb to describe feelings.
It was on my way back home on an early morning flight that I had the best surprise in a long time. After getting settled in my seat, the airplane’s engines were at full thrust, and in a couple of minutes we were in the sky. Shortly afterwards the cabin crew began to serve a light breakfast, namely tea, or coffee and a croissant. I asked for tea and it was served in a paper cup with the tea bag and hot water already inside. I usually take a little bit of sugar with my tea and opened one of small cylindrical paper containers that is usually supplied and began to pour it into my cup. Seconds later, I realised that it was a white powder that going in my tea and not sugar. The white powder was milk substitute in fact. My tea immediately turned a muddy colour with bits of white floating on the top… Not very appetising, I assure you.
Sitting looking down at this cup, I plucked up the courage to sip a little bit of the tea with white bits floating on the top. It wasn’t too bad. Anyway, I put down the cup. One of the cabin crew was walking past and noticed the funny brew in my cup. Without saying a word, my cup was immedialty removed and a fresh brew was bought to me. Impressive and surprising, I certainly was not expecting anyone to notice it, let alone bring me a fresh tea. Even my neighbor complimented the cabin crew on their diligent sense of the customer, and powers of observation.
It was a small surprise to me that they bothered to change my tea without me asking them, and yet it meant a lot and caught the attention of others. Certainly, if this is the care that the airline gives its customers, then they have my full loyalty in the future!