I'm considering purchasing a small all-in-one PA to be used by untrained people for the occasional "we need to borrow a PA with a mic and iPod input" scenario.
I don't have any experience with the Fender Passport series.
What I use for this is one of my powered EV ELX112P speakers. It has 2 inputs, input 1 is combo XLR-1/4" or RCA; input 2 is XLR-1/4" with a mic/line pad.
Put it on a stick, plug in a mic and a media device with a 1/8"TRS to 2RCA cord, and you're good to go. If you need more coverage, the speaker has an XLR line level output to feed another powered speaker. Usage is pretty simple, there are only 3 knobs.
The ELX112P does have a fair amount of hiss. I'm sure there are other powered speakers with similar capabilities.
What I see as the advantage of this approach is that the speakers can also be used as monitors or fills in the larger portable system. The disadvantage is that it doesn't pack up into its own shell like the Passport does. And the Passport definitely has more features, but along with that comes more complexity.
Never underestimate the ability of untrained people to hook it up wrong, no matter how simple it is.