If you know anybody who is a frequent flyer with the particular airline this can help, they should be able to get you put on an upgrade list. If they fly a lot then you are in with a reasonably good chance.
If you know anybody who works for the airline, they should be able to get you put on the upgrade list.
Apparently you can just ring up and get put on it but I have never tried that. It's worth a shot though they can only say no.
My mother's partner put me on the upgrade list from Mumbai to Sydney and I got upgraded free, so it works. If your friend is a frequent flyer might have to get them to make up something like "Have a client flying from here to here can I get them put on the upgrade list"
Another time, I got somebody who worked at the call center for an airline to put me on the upgrade list, but that was Sydney to Heathrow and there were literally no seats left on the plane so no luck.
If your a frquent flyer you can just ring up and ask to be put on the list, I know this works, I think the list is ordered by who fly's the most or has the most points or something.
Good luck with it. about 10 years ago