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Good luck one way or the other, but they do allow UPG. I used to book via a travel agent due to complex routing and if you contact your local BA Exec Club no less than 24 hours prior to departure, you could be lucky. Instant mileage UPG at check in is, as far as I am aware, not possible. The real challenge is seat availability, because BA are quite restrictive when it comes to premium cabin availability to upgrade candidates – that being said, I tried to upgrade quite recently, was turned down due to availability and then “invol upgraded” at the gate due to over booking – nice for LHR/BOM!