I'm looking to fly YYZ-LHR on AA using points for one ticket and $$ for another. I'm AA Gold, so I want to make sure I get preferred seating for both. Any suggestions/advice on how to approach this? As well, I'm curious about flying on the direct BA flight vs YYZ-JFK-LHR or YYZ-ORD-LHR on AA. Seems like there's a huge point difference in redemption rates.