California Operator Strives For Daily Success

Lexi Tucker
Posted on March 11, 2020

Raquel Coupas, general manager of JunoLux Transportation

Raquel Coupas, general manager of JunoLux Transportation

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Raquel Coupas, general manager of JunoLux Transportation, started in the industry as a matter of necessity. A single mother of three, she knew she had to make ends meet and provide for her children. In 2015, she began working as a chauffeur, and eventually met an owner of a company she knew she could help out using her dedication to superior service.

Rising In Rank

Before becoming a chauffeur, she worked in law enforcement. She served for several years in San Diego as a fugitive recovery agent. As a single mother, she left the industry due to the risk of the business and for the sake of her children.

Coupas follows high standards; she knows how she likes to be treated, and she liked that being a chauffeur offered her an opportunity to share that level of service with others. She learned everything she could about the industry.

In 2016, she met Junot “Juno” Ignacio, owner of JunoLux Transportation. He had similar ideals and she went to work for him in 2017. Within nine months, she advanced to fleet manager, and now is general manager. She and Ignacio work closely together on every aspect of the company.

JunoLux Transportation not only handles luxury transportation, but also has contracts with major, well-known businesses that have local offices that rarely use outside transportation companies but prefer drivers who arrive onsite to take clients home in their own vehicles.

Love What You Do

Coupas enjoys many aspects of working in the luxury ground transportation industry. “I love the truly awesome affiliates I’ve met and gotten the chance to work with, as well as the very regular clients we've gotten to know over the years. Some of the special events we’ve worked, including for Netflix, have all been exciting and great experiences,” she says. She also enjoys driving special events passengers, such as for an anniversary, birthday, or someone about to propose.

“We get to stock the car with sentiment and experience the happiest moments in some people’s lives. This is a real treat.”

While the industry is predominately male, she loves the fact that, unlike many careers, this industry has no glass ceiling for women. “The pay and opportunity are equal across the board.”

Working In San Diego

She believes San Diego has earned its title as "America’s Finest City.” For her, it’s an amazing place to live and work. A huge tourist town, it offers everything from beaches to mountains, amusement parks, museums, resorts, hiking, camping, and casinos and wineries. “We are home to the world’s largest comic convention, San Diego Comic-Con, in July, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, we have amazing night life, and it’s just a 30-minute drive to Mexico. Clients are never at a loss for something to do.”

Professionally, Coupas enjoys learning and growing each day. She has come to love some of her clients.

Professionally, Coupas enjoys learning and growing each day. She has come to love some of her clients.

The San Diego International Airport is unique in that it lies five minutes from downtown and the convention center and two hours from LAX. The tourism and business travelers flow in and out all year round due to the usually amazing weather. This offers a lot of opportunity for advanced booking and package deals. “Of course, not every passenger is celebrating, but even when moods are not sunny, I can look out the windows at palm trees and beaches and know it will still be a good day.”

Fleet Makeup

JunoLux started with a single Chevrolet Suburban in 2016. Today, they run seven luxury vehicles, including two Cadillac XTS sedans, three Cadillac Escalades, one Suburban, and their most recent addition, the BMW 740i. They plan to add more vehicles as they grow.

When the company needs more or larger vehicles, they have a few special affiliates they work closely with to ensure the desires of their clients are met.

Wise Words

During her time in the industry, she has learned you can't trust everyone. “When you get a farm-in from someone — be it a vaguely known or unknown affiliate — be sure you have clearly outlined your acceptance policy. Deposits, minimum cancelation time, credit card information, etc. It's not something that happens a lot, but it does happen when an affiliate calls you up to farm-in a job, and then refuses to pay. Make sure you have your ducks in a row.”

Tracking your costs is also vital to running a healthy company. Know how much it costs to have your vehicles on the road. Use your bottom line to give you a base to set your prices. Once you know how much it will cost you to put a driver on the road, then you can determine how much you're willing to earn on a 200-mile trip, for example, that will take your drivers four to six hours to complete.

Mentored To Greatness

Coupas credits working with Juno as the key to her success. “Without him and his guidance, I don't know I would be anything more than a struggling single mom. It's because of Juno I've learned so much about this industry. The 2020 International LCT Show will be the third LCT Show Juno has sent me to on behalf of his business. LCT has been a great source of information and networking for me and JunoLux.”

Professionally, she enjoys learning and growing each day. She has come to love some of her clients. “Everyone has to work for a living: This is a fact. In this industry, I get so much more than a paycheck; it is more like I gain a larger family.”

Related Topics: California operators, customer service, eNews Exclusive, San Diego operators, small business, small-fleet operators, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Gilliom

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