Is there anything to read between the lines?
There's plenty, you just have no way of knowing what their actual reasons are. Off the top of my head, a company skipping a phone screen could be for any number of reasons:
- someone vouched for you so they don't feel the need to do a phone screen
- they were so impressed with your application or profile that they want to skip the phone screen
- HR doesn't have anything better to do and they need to fill their calendars
- your interviewers can expense lunch for in-person interviews and want to check out a new restaurant
- they don't think phone screens are useful
- they don't believe that a telephone conversation is a real conversation
- they're neo-luddites who are afraid that using a telephone will suck their soul out through their ear
Most of these are signs of bad hiring practices. If you're a hiring manager you should only skip a phone screen if:
- you know the candidate personally
- someone who's judgement you trust knows the candidate personally and vouches for him (both when it comes to skills and cultural fit)
- HR already did a phone screen (and they have shown to be reliable and competent)
In all other scenarios, a phone screen is an invaluable tool to avoid wasting time for you or a candidate.
Now what does all this mean for you as a candidate? Since you're three hours away from their offices, I would contact them again and request a phone screen with the hiring manager yourself. Good HR staff and good managers won't mind and will realise that you want to check some basics first before committing to an interview. If they react weirdly to your request in any way and decline, even after you explain your reasons and without giving their own for skipping a phone interivew, consider that a huge red flag. They either don't know how to hire well or they're setting you up for something shady.