The episode opens up with SpongeBob bored because Patrick is away. SpongeBob then finds a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy comic lying on the floor and reads the section about pen pals. He quickly decides to write a letter, although Gary's slime goes all over the letter, making the word 'frying' look like flying.
SpongeBob is then seen waiting inside his mailbox a few days later and immediately goes to read the letter the pen pal sent. When SpongeBob reads it, he realizes the pen pal misinterpreted frying as flying, and then reads on and sees that he is dying. After thinking about how it could affect him, he decides not to break the news and write back with another lie.
Another few days later, SpongeBob receives the next letter, and it says that he wants to see SpongeBob fly at the Bikini Bottom air show. Not knowing what to do, he goes to Sandy to seek help. She suggests learning to fly, which SpongeBob happily goes along with, but when faced with the simulator, is not very good at it and breaks it while crashing into his Pineapple house. It is the same when he actually flies, but Sandy decides that it is good enough.
At the air show, SpongeBob is there and comes across this old person in a wheelchair who he presumes the 'penpal,' but is actually just an old man choking on a Krabby Patty.
SpongeBob is then announced to be up next and gets on the plane, revising what he is going to do, before he is confronted by Steve who is dressed as death.
SpongeBob then goes to take off, and Patrick is running nearby and reveals that he is the 'penpal,' along with the other page of the letter. They both throw the letters up into the air, but they fly into SpongeBob's face, making him lose control and risk crashing many times until they eventually crash, and the fire department arrives.
SpongeBob and Patrick walk away with Patrick listing what else he would have wanted to see, and the episode ends with chaos at the air show.
When SpongeBob is about to write a letter to his pen pal, he is shown sharpening a pencil with his mouth like a pencil sharpener. This is similar to how DoodleBob sharpens the Magic Pencil with his mouth in "Frankendoodle."
When this episode premiered, it was paired up with "Whirly Brains."
The plane that SpongeBob crashes into during his flight heavily resembles a real-life airliner: the Airbus A320, but the rear fuselage and tail looks like that of a Boeing 737, albeit with a smaller vertical stabilizer.
This is one of the first appearances of a realistic-looking airliner in the show.