I have an interview scheduled next week for a fellowship sponsored by a private foundation. When they called me to inform me that I'd been selected, I was so thrilled that I forgot to get all the scheduling details, just the rough times that I needed to be there. Today, when I called to ask them for my meeting schedule, I found out that I have 1 hour 15 minutes worth of in-person meetings: 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and then a phone interview with a third person. Doing a quick mental calculation, I realized that it would be at least 8 hours of traveling, including security lines, for this 75 minute interview, so I asked that it be converted to a phone interview. They'll pay for my stay in a hotel one night, but that just spreads out the traveling.
It is a big nervey of me to request a phone interview, but on the other hand, who can spend a full day traveling to see people who aren't even willing to give you an hour?
I have another interview for the same fellowship in a different site, and that's a normal full-day interview.
Update: They called me at 8 pm to tell me that they could not do a phone interview, but added an additional 45 minutes to my interview so that I would feel special. I'm going to assume that they won't hold it against me that I asked them for a phone interview.