It was supposed to be the start of their great Christmas Getaway.
But travel plans for thousands of people have been wrecked by rail failures.
Signal problems hit services into and out of Paddington Station and near Gatwick Airport.
Meanwhile, the AA has reported a surge in breakdowns in the capital - many of them flat batteries - as people leave their lights on when they dash to go shopping.
Here's Ronke Phillips.
More top news
Clear tonight with temperatures falling quickly. Light winds and lows of 5C.
An elderly and vulnerable man is fighting for his life after being mugged while riding a mobility scooter.
The latest disruption on an increasingly delay-affected Underground system was on the Central line.