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I'll be flying out soon for some on-site interviews to a city I'd rather like to see. Would it be inappropriate to ask the company, who is already paying for my flight regardless, to schedule a later return date, say through the weekend? I have classmates from undergrad in the area who are willing to host me, so I could offer to have them not book a hotel room. This would likely be cheaper for the company overall. The company has not yet booked my flight.

I'm in the US, in the tech industry. The job is located in this city and I'd relocate there if I were to accept.

  • Why are you worried about asking things like this ? – Radu Murzea Jan 18 '17 at 12:11
  • Leaving a bad impression, appearing disinterested in the company, etc. – Alex Reinking Jan 18 '17 at 12:12
  • @Draken - For which reasons might they refuse? – Alex Reinking Jan 18 '17 at 12:18
  • As long as the return flight is similar in cost, this should be a very understandable request of the folks interviewing you. – Mister Positive Jan 18 '17 at 12:20
  • @AlexReinking They are doing mass bookings and can't accommodate to a single individual, they don't want to, etc. There are many, some more reasonable than others. But that's for them to decide – Draken Jan 18 '17 at 12:33
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Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to ask both when you are interviewing with a company or if you are taking a business trip with a company you already work for. I have done both successfully. The most important part is that the only thing they would change is the flight. You would have to check out of the company-paid hotel and return any rental cars at the appropriate times and take care of the rest of the trip on your own.

Most companies won't have a problem with this, so long as the new flight doesn't cost too much more. For this reason, you'll still need to be flexible on your return time. You could ask for Sunday PM, but you might not get Flight AB1234 at 4:37pm.

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    Update: not only were they happy to grant me a few extra days, they let me pick the exact flights, too. Apparently this is a very common request! – Alex Reinking Jan 27 '17 at 21:33
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    @AlexReinking Add the fact that they will like it that you have friends in the area, maybe. – Khalil Khalaf Aug 4 '17 at 16:16
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In a Danish context, this would probably not be a problem.

After all, you are actively showing that the location interests you - and you already having a network there means the risk of the job not working out for social reasons (home sickness, loneliness) seems vastly lower.

  • This. If you ask properly and show that you are genuinely interested and happy to be at that location, they will likely be even more willing to bring you on-board since the confidence rating for you went up significantly. – revofire Jan 18 '17 at 14:50
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Yes, it's fine to ask.

In fact, as someone who has flown people in for onsite interviews, I usually offer it and will accommodate it if the cost isn't much more. I've learned that people who get some time in my city (Austin, TX) fall in love with it and are more likely to accept a job offer that brings them here.

As a hiring manager, I've had this asked and I've even advocated for it. So no harm in asking. Of course, there are pennypinching and/or bureaucratic orgs everywhere that will flinch, but if you're in the tech industry it's good to know if they're cheap or inflexible going in, because there's always another employer that's not.

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Be sure to check your insurance policies!

The other answers already cover in detail why this is perfectly acceptable to request, and I agree with those answers.

However, be sure to check your insurance policies. At least in my country (the Netherlands), they can make it really difficult for you to claim any damages if you combined your business trip with a private trip. Seeing your flight would be on behalf of the company and would be paid for by the company, your personal travel insurance agency can claim that your extra days were not actually personal and as such redirect you to your company's insurer, who would then play the same blame-game.

This situation happened to me when I flew to another country for work in a different office, and stayed two weeks extra as a vacation. My insurance agency did not quite agree that a vacation with tickets paid for by the company was a private vacation. With persistence they'll probably fold (as they did for me), but it would be advisable to Google your personal travel insurance deal for these kinds of stories and how your specific agency handles it.

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    That's really good to know! If I ever do this in the future, I will be mindful of this. Thanks! – Alex Reinking Aug 8 '17 at 22:57
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My company is pretty OK with employees occasionally extending a business trip for a personal day or two, as long as you are paying the extra expenses yourself, and use up a vacation day or flex time for the hours you spend on personal stuff.

It certainly doesn't hurt if you can suggest this in connection with a cheaper, later return flight. "Hey, I notice if I stay an extra day there is a $50 cheaper return flight, and to be honest I wouldn't mind doing some touristy things and check out the city when I'm anyway there... of course I'll pay the hotel night myself..." (I'd stay in a hotel, or say it anyway, because crashing on someones sofa like a broke-ass stoner isn't the professional attitude I want to give off)

I think everyone can see the appeal in doing this, especially when the destination is far away, somewhere you'd never go otherwise, or in your case, will potentially move to.

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