AP is reporting that budget airline Southwest has published its schedule and fares for early next year -- a move that could spur rivals to lower their fares for the period, according to one industry expert.
Southwest usually doesn't release its fares or schedules beyond six months or so, while many airlines take reservations nearly a year in advance.
Southwest recently issued schedules and prices for Jan. 9 to March 6. The new schedule has forced other major airlines to roll back fares they'd been charging to match the Dallas-based carrier's lower prices on many routes, an official with Bestfares.com told AP. He added that the old rule of booking farther in advance to save money doesn't always hold true.
Other airlines will probably charge higher fares for travel after March of next year, he added.