The computational kernel in solving the SN transport equations is the parallel sweep, which corresponds to directly inverting a block lower triangular linear system that arises in discretizations of the linear transport equation. Existing parallel sweep algorithms are fairly efficient on structured grids, but still have polynomial scaling, P1/d + M, for d dimensions, P processors, and M angles. Moreover, an efficient scalable parallel sweep algorithm for use on general unstructured meshes remains elusive. Recently, an algebraic multigrid (AMG) method based on approximate ideal restriction (AIR) was developed for nonsymmetric matrices and shown to be an effective solver for linear transport. Motivated by the superior scalability of the AMG methods (logarithmic in P) as well as the simplicity with which the AMG methods can be used in most situations, including on arbitrary unstructured meshes, this paper investigates the use of parallel AIR (pAIR) for solving the SN transport equations with source iteration in place of parallel sweeps. The results presented in this paper show that pAIR is a robust and scalable solver. Although sweeps are still shown to be much faster than pAIR on a structured mesh of a unit cube, pAIR is shown to perform similarly on both a structured and unstructured mesh, and offers a new, simple, black-box alternative to parallel transport sweeps.