This picture shows the shortest way from London to Puerto Vallarta.
Airplanes generally follow such a “great-circle” route, though maybe not exactly. The time is 2 PM in the local time zone, an hour before arrival, so as to visualize how the arrival will look.
If I knew how to, I might convert my Fortran program with which I made this into an app that people could use when about to fly somewhere, so as to see whether to ask for a window seat on the left or on the right. The most important is to get a window seat; next in importance are not to be over the wing, and to be on the side away from the sun; and then, if possible, to be on the side where you’re more likely to see coastlines and other wonderful features.
As you can see, in this case it’s a hard call, because the sun will be ahead – to the right at first, maybe just to the left in the final hour.
But in this case, it will be moot: I should have thought about it earlier and created this diagram earlier. It turns out we won’t have a window seat, because of the lousy airline.
Another thing you can see is that the sun is overhead almost as far south as the Tropic of Capricorn, so that the terminator between daylight and night reaches only just north of the Arctic Circle, in Alaska and Canada. The solstice won’t be till December 21, but December 7 – today – is the day that seems shortest, for latitude about 40° north, in the sense that the sun sets earliest – about 4:35 by natural time. As that curve of darkness rushes toward us, the sun has been grazingly low and the afternoons shudderingly short!