The problem of one hour-plus security lines at Chicago's O'Hare International and other airports around the country should be solved by the private sector, not the government, said Bob Kerrey, a former Democratic senator who served on the Select Committee on Intelligence during his time on Capitol Hill.
Kerrey's comments come as a new airline industry report reveals that travelers will need to brace themselves for even bigger crowds at the Transportation Security Administration-run checkpoints this summer.
"I don't think the government can do this. If you went to Walt Disney and said, 'Can you reduce the size of the lines?' Nobody runs lines better than Disney," Kerrey told CNBC on Wednesday.
To help mitigate the crush at O'Hare, dozens of additional TSA officers were being deployed immediately, and travelers are being advised to arrive two to three hours in advance of their flights.
"It has been a challenging spring with flyers waiting in lines that take more than 60 to 90 minutes to get through security," said Sharon Pinkerton, a senior vice president with Airlines For America. "We encourage TSA to quickly hire and train new staff to help alleviate this problem."
Airlines For America, an industry trade group, said Wednesday that it expects the number of people flying this summer to outpace last year's record crowds. The group expects 232.1 million will fly in the U.S. between June 1 and Aug. 31, or 2.51 million people per day.